Mayor Bloomberg and Occupy Wall Street by the Numbers

Brookfield Properties, the owner of Zucotti Park where the Occupy Wall Street protesters have been gathered for weeks, is insisting on “cleaning” its property on Friday. Although New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that the protesters would be allowed to return thereafter, New York City police chief Raymond Kelly has warned that they would not be allowed to bring back sleeping bags or any camping equipment. Bloomberg, one of America’s 400 billionaires, has expressed fears that protests directed at banks would cause the banks to stop lending (out of pique?) and so would hurt jobs growth. Bloomberg is the mayor of New York, but you wonder if he would be if he had not poured tens of millions of his own money into his campaigns. In short, the 1% is mobilizing against the 99% in the park.

Percentage of Americans who approve of Occupy Wall Street: 54

Percentage of Americans who say that the gap between the rich and the poor has grown too large: 79

Percentage of Americans who say the rich should pay more in taxes: 68

Percentage of Americans who approve of the Tea Party: 27

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ranking in Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans: 8

Bloomberg’s net worth: $20 billion

Amount Bloomberg spent of his own fortune on his [first] two mayoral campaigns in New York: $159 million

Percentage of all US economic growth in past decade that went to the top 1% of income earners: 65

The combined net worth of the 400 wealthiest Americans, as measured by Forbes magazine in 2007: $1.5 trillion

The combined net worth of the poorer 50 percent of American households in 2007: $1.6 trillion

Number of times Bloomberg promised that the Occupy Wall Street protesters could “stay indefinitely”: 1

Average salaries in New York’s securities industry in 2010: $361,330

Average increase in compensation for those in the securities industry over the past 30 years: 11%

Average salary of Wall Street financiers against whom the protesters were protesting, according to Bloomberg (saying they “are struggling to make ends meet”): $45,000-$50,000

Average increase in compensation for private-sector employees outside securities industry during the past 30 years: 1.8%

Average price inflation rate during past 30 years: roughly 3%

Decline in average wage of the average middle class family in past decade: 7%

Decline in the average income of the average poor family in the past ten years: 12%

Number of times Bloomberg maintained that it was unwise to protest banks because it would discourage them from lending money and so cost jobs: 2

Rate at which the volume of commercial and industrial bank loans grew in the second quarter of 2011: 9.6%

7 Responses

  1. First, I am in complete sympathy with and support of Occupy Wall Street, and if my age and health permitted would be there with them. We have for too long sat silent, and the fact that we are speaking up delights me.

    That being said, this 99% number disturbs me a bit. The people protesting should only claim the support of those who are on their side, and while I know they are protesting against the 1% (the richest), they say “We are the 99%” while only 54% actually approve of them, and only 68% say the rich should pay more taxes. Yes, I am in the 54% and the 68%, but still.

    On the matter of Zucotti Park and the “cleaning” thereof, if this were a public park their objection to that would be totally valid, but this is private property. If they are protesting in support of American principles, do they not weaken that a bit by occupying private property against the wishes of its owner?

  2. I think the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are two sides of the same coin. Both want to keep more of the wealth America generates out of the hands of people who have proven they don’t know how to spend. The two movements are difficult to compare, especially since the Occupy movement is in its early stages, but to me, it has a similar “feel” as the Tea Party. Personally, I have never considered myself a Tea Partier, nor have I called myself an Occupier, but as a young person in America, both movements have messages that resonate with me.

    If these two grassroots movements can really take hold in this country, we might have some really interesting policy debate. I think it appears the Tea Party and Occupiers are opposed to each other regarding specific policy, but if they can recognize their ultimate aims for society have significant common ground, maybe we can see that significant shift in American politics that has strangled our nation’s working classes.

    • How do you know they have common ground?

      Has any member of the Tea Party ever expressed anything but the most sickening nostalgia for the Good Old Days, when it just happens that America was fantastically unequal? In fact, doesn’t every known faction of the Right Wing champion the most extreme reimposition of some aspect of the past?

      Many of the right-wing activists who have resurfaced with this movement were spending the ’90s talking about secession, nullification, and non-whites as “14th Amendment citizens”, meaning not really citizens at all. We’ve heard all this before, except even the monsters who presided over Jim Crow lacked the balls to actually repeal the 14th Amendment, as is now being discussed.

      As the following article explains, the Tea Party does not exist in isolation from the history of right-wing extremism:

      link to talk2action.org

  3. >>Bloomberg…has expressed fears that protests directed at banks would cause the banks to stop lending…<<

    Too late! They already stopped lending well before Occupy Wall Street came along.

  4. Juan, what’s the significance of the 9.6% rate at which the volume of commercial and industrial bank loans grew? How does that percentage compare with previous measurements?

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